DIARY OF A MUZUNGU’S CHARLOTTE BEAUVOISIN ON THE PANEL OF KASESE’S TOURISM FORUM
(Posted 29th May 2021)
For two decades Kasese Tourism has experienced both domestic and International Visits that have been increasing as a result of both International and domestic tourists experiencing dynamic growth and continued expansion across border travel for adventure, recreational, leisure or school tours and adventure purposes becoming one of the fastest growing economic activities worldwide and in destination Uganda, Kasese Inclusive tourists arrivals increasing until the global pandemic Covid -19 brought everything to standstill.
Tourism in the past including before covid 19 had been based only Accommodation and Hospitality with less attention on visitor attractions, entertainment, infrastructure, community public image in the eyes of the visitor not taken as critical yet as we build, destination brand image plays a critical significant role in the consumer purchase decisions, it’s necessary to this development, the information that contributes to the perception .with the destination Image and perception of the visitor starting before a visit is made, this forms perception of the destination, so what is the current perception of destination Kasese and where do we want it?and Tourists spending less nights in Kasese with some not sleeping or visiting Kasese at all and spending less Dollars within Kasese as a destination.
Quality Water and reliable clean energy are critical infrastructure assets that serve as catalyst of trade, economic growth and development, with external trade, food, security and Tourism are main drivers of economic development and prosperity as well as in the context of making Kasese a true tourism destination.
Climate Change and its effects is real amidst us, and its significant socio-economic consequences, with climate related extreme events affecting kasese Tourism with the notation of Kasese is a hostile place, Hot to sleep in, Dusty town, Poor Accommodations, poor foods, poor customer care, poor Mountain Climbing services, lack of Medical rescue services in and around the tourism facilities and on mt.Rwenzori as compared to other destinations in Uganda and the region at large, this to exacerbate existing challenges, making resilience building and effective adaptation action an urgent imperative.
Trade and Tourism in particular is dependent on well functioning and Climate –resilience transport,water,energy infrastructure assets, quality of Air, Destination Image, Security and its Tourism as a trade in Kasese can help in promoting environmentally sound innovative services, products, technologies, Interconnectivity, diversified production, enhanced productivity with innovative tourism valve addition services in the destination. Building resilience for and through Tourism as a trade amidst kasese Tourism Investors and its Stakeholders needs to be part of the solutions to the climate crisis being faced in kasese Tourism.
Against this background, the 3rd round table discussion provides a unique opportunity to highlight the important nexus between climate, infrastructure and Tourism and to propose concrete actionable measures to address the challenges the Kasese Tourism Investors face:
Speakers among others:
- CAO Kasese District; Mr. Asumani Amis panelist Kasese Tourism District What is the status and how is Local Government and its urban councils repositioning in becoming real tourism destination management centres, what is on table.
- Diary of Muzungu Destination Marketing M/s Charlotte Beauvoisin; Kasese As a tourism Destination, a Tourist centric centered product content, destination travel experience and marketing.
- Patron KTT Lt.Gen Mbadi: Kasese Think Tank contribution in turning around Kasese into the safari Capital of Uganda, Tourism Investment and Hotel securities are key.
- ED Kilembe Investment Ltd M/s Birungi Jane: Water and Energy infrastructure in the Tourism District what is at stake, is every tourist facility and Home reliably covered.
1. Mr. Philips Kiboneka MD Kasenyi Safari Camp
2. Mr. Kabyanga Godfrey –Rotarian, tourism Investor and former Mayor Kasese Town
3. Mr. Siira Muhindo M –Ties country Representative
4. Mr. Stanely Kanzeze-Kasese tourism strategic plan development consultant
Mugisha Charles Secretary KTT and Member KTIF
1. Raise awareness of the important nexus between resilient water, energy, transport, well planned tourism villages/belts, Smart Cities, green sustainable trade including Tourism as a Key trade in Destination Kasese.
2. Identify the Specific needs for the tourism investors as related to improve infrastructure for trade and Investment and how tourism in the face of climate change and how Tourism and trade can better promote climate resilience of destination kasese.
3. Propose Policy recommendations to District and other stakeholders to catalyze actions and New Partnership
Background and Key Issues:
Kasese Tourism Investors forum main objective is to enable each tourism investment in Kasese to meeting all set global Standards and have real rate of return on each investment achieved within four fours and turning around Kasese into a smart, green tourism destination that meets global set standards, this coupled with the Remoteness of the Mt.Rwenzori and its location of over 300 Kms from the International Airport make the destination suffer double exposure to external economic and environmental shocks. These characterized by limited connectivity to major international Air transport networks within real times, disproportional high air transport costs, lack of quality safe water, reliable power supply on Mt.Rwenzori, the tourism facilities in the lower lands, including stay Homes makes the destination rely on trade, with Tourism often being not taken as a key export sector and important source of income and employment.
Access to International markets and high end domestic markets is exclusively facilitated by presence of Airport, good gradable Accomodations,great foods, great travel experiences and friendly communities, presence of large herds/Nos of Wild Animals all times and other auxiliary features including the Coffee farms and stay homes, winery, night life in and within a destination.
Kasese Tourism face particular threats in top of the above critical issues, from Climate Change both Natural and Manmade, Low and Poor non well though innovative Tourism Investments associated with poor safari/Hotel designs that can’t compete on the African market, Poor Customer services, Community-Wildlife conflicts, Global Media publicities among others.
The Nexus between Climate Change, infrastructure and Tourism as a Trade:
For KTIF,there is a particularly Strong Nexus between the Climate Change,infrastructure,Tourism and Trade with impact on Investment with direct damages to infrastructure, as well direct and indirect losses to exports in this case Tourism and Commodities with significant impacts on live hoods, economic, social and environmental assets and adversely affect the overall sustainable development prospects of Kasese Tourism as a destination and the KTIF family efforts, this calls for us to undertake:
- Preparedness –interms of trade in goods, services and technologies required of a smart green accredited certified Tourism destination
- Response– in terms of Access and offering indispensable goods and services including critical medicines, medical Rescue services and other Hospitality Services on Mt.RwenzorI and QENP that are gradable, of acceptable International and National certified Standards
- Recovery– in terms of expediting the Movement of travelers on Mt.Rwenzori, QENP,within the Destination and Intra Country Connectivity with the International markets, presence of Destination Kasese on both National and Global Scale.
Way forward/Call to Action:
1. Enhanced Climate resilience and adaption for critical Infrastructure is a matter of strategic socio-economic importance and will be key in achieving progress on kasese Tourism and many of the Sustainable development Goals. Resilience and Adaptation ,Nature based solutions with Our Destination managers at National, District and Community levels in enabling KTIF partnering in turning Kasese Destination into a certified and Accredited GSTC destination and an affiliate member of UN WTO so as to embrace Global and national best practices that requires each member of KTIF and the communities in and around both Mt.Rwenzori and QENP in Kasese to be part of Destination kasese that puts innovative and mixed adaption to the New Norm of Post Covid 19 Tourism global re start and resilience as key with regulations, Standarization,management,technical and methodological tools, guidance as critical for making Destination Kasese a true safari experience that meets true global set parameters and trends.
2. Technical and financing capacity accelerating efforts to foster well thought innovative destination content development, marketing and branding of destination Kasese with both true savannah tropical experience and Mt.Rwenzori trekking ,adequate climate and physical investments instruments with partners as this is indispensable as well avoid further widening of gap on financing of tourism investment in Kasese,No.of visitors spending a night in Kasese and range of quality goods and services within the Destination.
3. Expedite the development of support features and services that put extra value of Mt.Rwenzori National Park natural features and QENP with mainly the following
· Rwenzori Marathon and Marathon grounds.
· The Fish festival on the Lake shores of Katwe and Kahendero
· The international Cycling in and around the tourism Village of Kikongoro-lyembuza-kasenyi
· The Kasese Town KTIF Mt. Rwenzor Statue and other statues in the Town
· The Nzori experience on the established water Falls and Coffee Tourism
· The Savannah Motor rally for both cars and Motorcycles.